The Unauthorized Guide to the Universe: Volume 3

Welcome to the Unauthorized Guide to the Universe, an advice column written by yours truly, The Universe. Listen in to others’ questions about life, love, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness or submit your own by DM-ing @prhs_bear_truth on Instagram or leaving a comment below. All questions are anonymous.

Sincerely, The Universe.

Why are we here? Just to suffer? To find love, peace, religion? What is the meaning? -Yet-Another-Metaphysicist Morris

Dear Morris,

I feel like you all are abusing our relationship. Just because you have a direct line into the mind of the Universe, Creator of Everything, does not mean you can keep asking for the Meaning of Life. I’ll tell you the same thing every time. It’s classified. All I can really say, for fear of breaching the terms of confidentiality, is that the Meaning of Life is just

I’m so anxious all the time. How do I manage my stress and anxiety? –Fretful Fabian

Dear Fabian,

Though I am indeed the Universe, Creator of Everything, I too suffer occasionally (read: all the time) from anxiety. Especially this past year, when things got a bit… out of hand. (Have I apologized for that yet? My intern just can’t listen to instructions. Sorry.) Anyways, yes indeed, anxiety has all of us in the grasp of its strangling tentacles, squeezing every last droplet of peace of mind and relaxation out of us. The Anxietoctopus haunts us all. (Why must I use metaphors like an octopus or a circus or fictional characters to describe something instead of talking about it like a normal person, you ask? First of all, I’m not normal. I’m also not a person. So there.)

In fact, the Anxietoctopus– I insist upon calling it that– has spread its influential ink throughout so much of society that it’s hardly acknowledged as a real problem at all. Stress and anxiety, while still being incredibly legitimate mental health problems, are seen as a package deal with getting good grades in school and scoring a well-paying job, just a few of the highly publicized expectations that society has so forcibly placed upon young teenagers. Why must we sacrifice our mental and emotional well-being in order to conform to societal standards? Well, that’s a whole other can of various tentacled seafood. Regardless of the shackles of society, anxiety will follow many of us wherever we go.

For instance, last night I was completely stressed out about a meeting I have with the Higher Ups (I had to present my yearly projections, you see). I knew I was totally prepared– I had my slideshow done, I had flashcards lined up, I had an alarm set so I wouldn’t be late to the Intergalactic Convention Hall. Knowing all this, I was still feeling anxious about positively everything. What if I somehow miss my alarm? What if the slideshow won’t load? What if I forget my flashcards? What if the Higher Ups laugh in my face and call me a fool and throw me out and give my job to my seriously incompetent intern? In the end, the meeting went perfectly fine and all my previous fears were proven incorrect. So why worry?

It’s difficult to control such a devious invader as the Anxietoctopus. Even if one realizes that there’s nothing to worry about, the Anxietoctopus is undeterred. There are only a few ways to properly defeat the Anxietoctopus, but it gets easier and easier every time. Here is a list of proven weapons against anxiety:

  • Write a list of every anxiety you have in a journal every night, alongside all the reasons why you know you don’t have to worry.
  • If you’re kept up at night by intrusive, anxious thoughts, consider listening to classical music while you fall asleep. Focus only on the music, following along in your mind like you would sing along to a song.
  • Reclaim control over your brain. Turn your thoughts away from what you are stressing out about and do something entirely else, like cleaning your room or baking muffins.
  • Good lord, I sound like a self-help magazine.
  • Distract yourself by watching a funny video or your comfort movie/TV show.
  • Stop drinking caffeine. It doesn’t help.
  • Stop, drop, and do yoga. Any form of exercise that either relaxes your muscles or gets your heart racing will induce endorphins and overall boost your mood.
  • Talk to someone, like a parent, a therapist, or a school counselor.

Though it may seem impossible at first, the Anxietoctopus can indeed be defeated. Godspeed, my fellow worrier.

Should I change my name? Kinda done with this one… I don’t know…Identity-Crisis Ivan

Dear Ivan,

I have to admit, the process to change your name is quite lengthy. If you’re a minor in Colorado, you must have a parent/guardian/over-18-year-old to sign alongside you, you must complete a Fingerprint Criminal Record History Background Check Within 90 Days (yes that’s totally the official title), and eight separate forms, including, but not limited to, the JDF 421, JDF 427, and the JDF 448. Exciting. Oh, and you’ll need a court hearing as well.

If you do decide to pursue this lengthy process, firstly, I hope you have a good reason. Good reasons include: being chased by the Mafia, granted asylum in the Witness Protection Program to protect you from the Mafia, joining the Mafia. Secondly, here is a list of some of my favorite names, which I highly recommend:

  • Orion
  • Aurora
  • Atlas
  • Luna
  • Nova
  • Galileo
  • Cassiopeia
  • Calypso
  • Perseus
  • Jupiter
  • Cygnus X-1
  • 55 Cancri E
  • MACS J1149 Lensed Star 1

I think you might have to change your driver’s license, too.